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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Canadian Guide to the Festival Express 1970


 One long party from start to end.  In honor of DavidLemieux's birthday (um, it has to be one of the 365 days like Nov 8, thanks wikipedia), I present words, pictures, music and merrymint from the Festival Express.  Apologizes to the all researchers like Light Into Ashes who transcriped much of the Toronto media from 1970, but as usual my posts are mention to augment their original work   Media is here  The Grateful Dead Archive at Santa Cruz has many amazing photos too. Link here

http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-festival-express-guide.html  is the defnitive work and a major piece of research.  As usual, I'm just a fan site with an eye towards finding hidden treasure.

And http://deadsources.blogspot.com/2013/07/june-27-28-1970-festival-express-toronto.html is a transcription of the Toronto reports.

I can't report any more than has already been reported except to conform the July 4-5 Calgary shows. It's still unclear if the Dead played at both of these shows. Dead Essays in 2013 corrected the notice of a July 3 Calgary show which in incorrect at usually perfect deadlists, deadbase 50 and gdao. What happened that day was a free concert that Garcia attended and commented on.  Deadbase 50 and deadlists still have the formerly thought of July 3 date which is incorrect per the accounts below. If you have problems reading some of the newspapers, I suggest clicking above on the Media is here link and looking at the PDFs.  I do love how well the Canadian press covers these shows.  I'll add more here when I discover some. But for today have fun.















At Smith, “Maine”, etc. and even a bit more applicable to our present situation... there will never be another Woodstock. This is a reality which few people seem capable of accepting. It is a reality brought upon our counter-culture by its own technocratic children. In an age of frozen food, pre-prepared anything you might wish, and programmed individually, the counter-culture has failed to live up to itself and has sold out to pseudo-Woodstock nations presented by hip capitalists who know that the electric freak will A Capital affair Being a bit quixotic, I have been searching for my windmills for a long time. So you can understand that when I began receiving rumors to the effect that this Festival Express thing up in Toronto was going STUDENTS SUMMER BOARD CONTRACTS WITH THE DORMITORY FOOD SERVICE ARE STILL AVAILABLE. Swinging rock festival's synth CONTACT THE FOOD SERVICE OFFICE, BASEMENT GOODYEAR HALL FOR INFORMATION 831-3537. to turn out to be another Woodstock (and remembering the same type of rumors that had been circulating last year about Woodstock) with two or three hundred thousand kids absorbing music, sunshine and each other. Anyway, I contacted my Sancho and fled into the deeply blued cotton filled horizons of Canada. Well, what it turned out to be and what I had hoped it would be were two completely different things. And as a result of the ensuing events, 1 have firmly decided to hang up my well-worn stash bag and retire from the festival circuit for good. « CHECKPOINT It’s really a shame that a good thing had to be spoiled by hip capitalism at its finest. Like an assembly line during the Industrial Revolution, rock “promoters” have set up a musical assembly line. It produces prefabricated Woodstock nations (on the minute scale, of course! which flaunt themselves FOREIGN CAR SALES A SERVICE nM Authorized Dealer llTlf/J SALES • SERVICE * under the guise of the musical “revolution The gate crasher Assembly lim ruber highly similar characteristics. Like some poorly written epic drama, each festival contains (sort of like an army survival kit): two or three promoters who are Capitalistic pig? (to quote an oft used phrase), a group of lads fucked up on drug? or trying to get fucked up drugs, security problems like you were inside a prison camp trying to see the commandant, two light towers that are placed almost exactly like those at Woodstock, a stage that looks slightly the same, sound work by Hanley, thousands of kids all trying to be on stage with the performers, and if you are in an upper cia* rock festival area, you get to have the pleasure of having road vultures work as your security men, etc., etc. Now, if you put all this together, hype it up through advertising, rumor, whatever, you will have what we had up in Toronto
I Also, almost as predictable as the constant shouts for more (an encore is generally always given by the group as a regular part of their act) you have the stigma known as the gate crasher. Every festival has them, and every festival generally succeeds in deterring these people’s attempts. In Toronto, the practice of gate crashing had reached its organized best. An organization know as the May 4 Movement organized the international gate crash at the Toronto festival. As was to be expected, security and gate crashing didn’t mix. About 27 people were arrested, many injured by the police who used horses and wrestling, they had no guns in their holsters, and very few seemed to have clubs. Many people did get in, but the hassle that derived from the mess to make it a futile and needless waste of blood and energy. Imitation festival One really good thing that did result from this excess of people (about 2,000 to 4,000) in the stadium area on the outside was the organization by the Grateful Dead of free concerts over in Coronation park. At one point it was estimated that about 5,000 people were at this free festival. After the continued hassle with security forces and whatnot, the promoters of the festival seemd to think that it would be cool to make this festival an imitation of the Woodstock nation festival created last year. Bob Weir: Grateful Dead So what they did during the act changes was play through the huge sound speakers the Woodstock album. This really made everybody happy and gay. 1 mean here we were in the middle of a rock festival, so why not make believe that we have gone back in time and are at Woodstock, I mean what’s the difference if we think we all can dig ourselves and how cool we really are? Anyway, after suffering through all this pretense and inane tripe, we had nothing left to really enjoy except the pure essence of anything like this — music. ir what each other, but nobody else; no togetherness whatsoever, music whichjcost plenty, security which was absurd, horseshit irom the horses used by the police in crowd control, plastic grass on the field and an asphalt track is you were lucky, and very few people seemed to care what was happening at Toronto, that is until violence occured and we all know what violence freaks this country has for its respected citizenry. The children of the technocracy had once again had a meeting, omly this time they numbered only 20,000 and they blew it. negative charge from the people inhabiting the counter-culture and what ensued was sad but true. The only thing that keeps us together as a culture right now is our music and the only thing that kept Toronto from being a real waste of time and energy was the music. which will survive for a long time in ones memory, which will survive for a long time in one’s memory, the “New Riders of The Purple Sage” made a rare and very successful appearance. This group is composed of members of the Grateful Dead and some Garcia and Mickey Hart. Garcia was an absolute joy playing his steel pedal guitar. Especially on the steel pedal version of Saint Stephen. rammed oronto. r music antities, lung for all is Images of the Dead This group should prove to be a method of perpetrating one of the finest groups on the American scene. The Grateful Dead have been making faint noises of splitting up. At least it seems that Pigpen is no longer with the group. That distance which can be seen in such groups is appearing withing the Dead and yet they play on, and will do so for a long time under the guise of the Grateful Dead or the New Riders of the Purple Sage. hing for lerstand ect that as going So no matter what anybody tells you about how cool, and far out it was up on Toronto, it was about as far from Woodstock as anything could ever be. At Woodstock the people were together, the ock music redeems MUSIC FROM THE TECHNOCRATIC STATE Music is what they had all come to hear and music is what they heard. It flowed from the delicately balanced sound machines perched high atop towers entangles in a maze of electrical wire. This high energy event had cost the promoters almost $500,000 in talent fees, the array of talent that showed and played still in talent fees. The array of talent that showed and played still There were many moments in this two day montage of musical mania. Much of what happened musically is blurred after the passage of a couple of hours. Yet, those moments that do survive are ones As for the Dead, their moments in this concert will last for a long time. The images of Garcia flailing the notes from his guitar with Phil Lesh pumping away on his bass and all the other Dead meshing together for one final flurry of “Turn on Your Love Light” -re burned on a brain already numbed with fatigue, dope and constant music. nthetic atmosphere music was free and easy, the grass and woods were wet and soft, the pastures stank with cow shit, the peace officers actually kept the peace and the whole world was watching. ;k (and lad been i two or After the furious conclusion of the Dead set we had the harsh folk/western/country sound of the Band. The high point of the Band set came when the group launched into a version of ‘The Weight”. Garth Hudson the mountain organist preambled this song with a ten minute off key/on key organ solo. Robbie Robertson’s guitar work improves with age and experience. music. :ted my on filled At the Festival Express in Toronto, we had thousands of small groups digging the shit out of lat 1 had different s, I have ;tash bag Musical success ad to be Like an The other memorable set came from the newly reformed Traffic. Long since the first demise of Traffic we have seen Steve Winwood in a number of roles. He has coupled with Blind Faith, and Ginger Baker’s Air Force, but he has found his way home ion, rock y line. It (on the of Hath in his old group, Traffic. Minus Dave Mason, Traffic as it stands now contains Chris Wood and Jim Oipabaldi. inber Wood playing the electric piano familiar to Mason. But then the group came together with Winwood’s vocals bouncing off the people and walls of the stadium poorly (sort of romoters oft used or trying like you see the : Traced tage that Hanley, with the lass rock if having Of particular interest was the guitar work done so little by Winwood. Always an underestimated guitarist, Winwood ranks up there with the best, his guitar is gentle and his rifling calculated. His sounds are flowing, gentle and well-meaning and seemed to stop the fatigue worn crowd from squirming and make them just sort of sit back and let the music bathe them in a night purple glow of thought and sense. ..etc. pa it up wiD have Robbie Robertson: The Band As far as the music goes, the Festival Express was the success it had claimed it would be. If it hadn’t been for the people the whole affair would have reafly pot anyone’s head in a fine, fine place. JuIm 2, 1970 . The Spectrum . Page seven